Misadventures in the English Language looks at some of the controversial aspects of English usage – grammar, vocabulary and punctuation – and tries to assess what matters and what doesn’t.
Looking at why it pays to be precise in your punctuation – the hackneyed examples of ‘Let’s eat Grandma’ and ‘Eats, Shoots and Leaves’ show how a comma can make all the difference – why tautologies are simply annoying; how corporate speak can actually mean nothing at all; and why naughty, awful, sophisticated and virtue are all words that have evolved to mean something completely different, this book covers all the aspects of the English language that could leave you with cause for concern.
It also considers where we are now, appraising (and often praising) the invention of new words – from kidult to piscetarian – including internet-led abbreviations such as JK and IMHO. By turns an explanation of the rules, a rant against gobbledygook and other modern horrors, this book will aid you in avoiding embarrassing clichés and jargon, and help you put your words in the right places, finally enabling you to revel in the richness of the English language.
Reviews for New Words for Old:
'Pleasantly diverting' Guardian
'Fascinating … perfect for anyone obsessed by wordplay' Yours magazine